Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waiting for Maryland's ruling.

March 15, 2017
By Alexander Burns

A federal judge (click here) in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a political blow to the White House and signaling that proponents of the ban face a long and risky legal battle ahead.

The ruling was the second frustrating defeat for Mr. Trump’s travel ban, after a federal court in Seattle halted an earlier version of the executive order last month. Mr. Trump responded to that setback with fury, lashing out at the judiciary before ultimately abandoning the order.

He issued a new and narrower travel ban on March 6, with the aim of pre-empting new lawsuits by abandoning some of the most contentious elements of the first version.

But Mr. Trump evidently failed in that goal: Democratic states and nonprofit groups that work with immigrants and refugees raced into court to attack the updated order, alleging that it was a thinly veiled version of the ban on Muslim migration that he had pledged to enact last year, as a presidential candidate....

I don't believe in coincidence.

March 14, 2017
By John Pacenti

West Palm Beach, Fla - The coincidences are piling up. (click here)

After disavowing any contact with President Donald Trump last week, Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev's state-of-the-art yacht Anna sat anchored in the British Virgin Islands on Friday night when another equally resplendent luxury liner, the Sea Owl, sidled up, according to a website that tracks the movement of yachts.

The owner of the dark-hulled yacht? President Donald Trump's biggest financial supporter and Breitbart News moneyman, Robert Mercer.

Rybolovlev has repeatedly said he has never met Trump or had any dealings with anyone in his campaign. The oligarch did purchase a Palm Beach mansion from the developer in 2008 through a family trust, Rybolovlev's spokespeople say.

Within days of the election last year, Trump's and Rybolovlev's jets were parked on the airport apron in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 3. Trump had a campaign rally that day in Concord, N.C. Rybolovlev said he was there for business.

The two planes were also in Las Vegas at the same time in October....

March 14, 2017
By Charles V. Bagli and Michael Forsythe

A New York real estate company (click here) owned by the family of President Donald Trump's son-in-law is negotiating to sell a $400 million stake in its Fifth Avenue flagship skyscraper to a Chinese insurance company with ties to leading families of the Communist Party.

The Chinese company, Anbang Insurance Group, would pay to get a high-profile piece of Manhattan real estate and would commit to spending billions more to completely transform the 60-year-old tower into a chic condominium and retail citadel.

If signed, the potential agreement would create a financial marriage of two politically powerful families in the world's two biggest economies, but it would also present the possibility of glaring conflicts of interest. The Kushner family, owners of the tower, would reap a financial windfall courtesy of a Chinese company, even as Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump as well as his son-in-law, helps oversee U.S. foreign policy.

News of the negotiations surfaced as Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, were preparing for their first meeting, to be held next month.

Kushner has emerged as a moderating voice in China policy among Trump's inner circle, and he has been heavily involved in planning for the visit.

Asked about a deal at a news conference Tuesday, the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, referred questions back to the Kushner Companies. "Jared went through extraordinary lengths" to comply with conflict-of-interest rules, he said....

March 14, 2017
By Mengqi Sun

...Ivanka Trump made headlines (click here) last November when her namesake company promoted the $10,800 bracelet she wore to an interview with “60 Minutes,” raising concerns about a conflict of interest. The spokeswoman for the fashion company later apologized. 

To avoid further potentially problematic entanglements for the company, Ivanka Trump removed herself from the leadership role. Yet, her involvement in the White House has come under more scrutiny as she continues to hold her financial stake in the company.

The decision also came amid reports that online sales of the brand surged last month, despite decisions by major department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to drop the line in January. According to British e-commerce website Lyst, sales of Ivanka Trump brand items jumped 346 percent from January to February this year, as The Christian Science Monitor reported on Saturday.

“Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Klem said. “For several different retailers Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the [brand’s] best performance ever.”

March 14, 2017
By Jamie Feldman

Whether you’re a devoted member (click here) of the Grab Your Wallet boycott or you’re enthusiastically buying Ivanka Trump, chances are you already know that many of the Trump family’s products are made overseas.

But did you know that even as President Donald Trump promised to create jobs by following “two simple rules: Buy American and hire American” in his January inauguration speech, huge shipments of his daughter’s line were reportedly on the way to the U.S. from China?

More than 53.5 metric tons of Ivanka Trump-branded shoes, bags, and clothes were sailing to American ports in eight shipments “even as he spoke,” according to customs receipts obtained by French news organization Agence France-Presse. 

President Trump promised to bring more factory jobs to this country and accused China of stealing manufacturing work. But at least one shipment per business day of Ivanka Trump’s shoes and other offerings continues to be sent from China, according to the AFP investigation, and the Global Times reported last month that a Chinese factory has already received an order for 10,000 Ivanka Trump shoes for next season....

A new kind of branding and victimization.

Such laws provide too much information to employers. Additionally, Ryan has already said that pre-existing conditions could provide a barrier to care.

February 25, 2017
By The AP

...Whatever happens,(click here)  the effects could be broadly felt. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27 percent of adults under age 65 have health conditions that would likely leave them uninsurable under practices that existed before the health care overhaul.

Some Republicans say they will preserve protection for pre-existing conditions, but with a catch. People would have to maintain continuous coverage before earning the protection — for 18 months in the plan offered by former Rep. Tom Price, Trump's health secretary. Those who go without coverage or who never had insurance could buy a policy through a state-run high-risk pool....

Continuous coverage never mattered before. Healthcare insurers make their own rules and evidently it is all headed back to the old ways and olden days.

Now if Americans never knew they had a potential genetic risk they would not have reported it. The genetic testing is more money for health insurers whether or not a person has manifested symptoms. The idea this information is available in a persons health record is scary. There can be false assumptions about health from this information alone. 

The genetic branding will no doubt be tied to the SSI number and there you have it a government with complete and intimate knowledge of any American with health insurance. This genetic branding will become a deterrent to care. It poses a real danger and is a hapless idea.

I would expect the US Congress to be the first Americans tested and their results placed in their government file for their health insurance, otherwise, they don't get paid!

arch 11, 2017

by Lena H. Sun

Employers (click here) could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law.

In general, employers don't have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.

Such programs — which offer workers a variety of carrots and sticks to monitor and improve their health, such as lowering cholesterol — have become increasingly popular with companies. Some offer discounts on health insurance to employees who complete health-risk assessments. Others might charge people more for smoking. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are allowed to discount health insurance premiums by up to 30 percent — and in some cases 50 percent — for employees who voluntarily participate in a wellness program where they're required to meet certain health targets....

Using DNA for paternity tests and "the truth" in crimes is a defensive measure and not a government on the offensive to benefit the private sector.

The healthcare insurance will be based on genetic readings and will provide higher premiums. It is acting BEFORE the facts are known. It is increasing insurance rates on THEORY and not factual health histories. Genetics does not account for lifestyle and lifestyle is the biggest health threat to any American or healthcare insurance company.
03 March 2017
By Gabrielle Ahern

Mangrove forests (click here) cover only a small percentage of the planet in comparison to other forest types – roughly 1.9% of coastline in the world – but they contain the largest source of carbon sequestration per hectare of land and are a major player in the carbon cycle of the oceans.

This means they have high economic value as “blue carbon” – carbon captured in oceans and coastal ecosystems – but around the world they have often been destroyed in the course of coastal development, agricultural and mining activities.

Increasingly, however, they are being acknowledged as formidable carbon sinks. But has this acknowledgement come too late? Does the ongoing loss mean we’ve squandered our best last chance to put the brake on global warming?

Carbon is stored as biomass in the sediment captured through the growth of mangroves. The carbon produced by its decomposing roots alone is a major contributor to this complex sink. The removal of mangroves adds 10% to the total carbon lost from global tropical deforestation through greenhouse gas emissions....

Below is the You Tube video of the recently diagnosed dead Mangrove Forests of Australia. That is a lot of chlorophyll and complex biological processes to lose.

March 13, 2017

One of the worst instances of mangrove forest dieback (click here) ever recorded globally struck Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria in the summer of 2015-16. A combination of extreme temperatures, drought and lowered sea levels likely caused this dieback, according to our investigation published in the journal Marine and Freshwater Research.

The dieback, which coincided with the Great Barrier Reef’s worst ever bleaching event, affected 1,000km of coastline between the Roper River in the Northern Territory and Karumba in Queensland....

It is due to anthropogenic global warming and the climate crisis.

Yes, yes, yes, Alaska is warmer today than the lower 48.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States, (click here) accounting for about 20% of the total area of the United States and more than twice the land area of Texas. Alaska includes lands on both sides of the Arctic Circle, which makes the United States an Arctic nation. The state spans a wide range of climatic and ecological conditions that include rainforests, glaciers, boreal forest, tundra, peatlands, and meadows....

...Over the past 60 years, the average temperature across Alaska has increased by approximately 3°F. This increase is more than twice the warming seen in the rest of the United States. Warming in the winter has increased by an average of 6°F and has led to changes in ecosystems, such as earlier breakup of river ice in the spring. As the climate continues to warm, average annual temperatures in Alaska are projected to increase an additional 2 to 4°F by the middle of this century. Precipitation in Alaska is projected to increase during all seasons by the end of this century. Despite increased precipitation, the state is likely to become drier due to greater evaporation caused by warming temperatures and longer growing seasons....

But, we already know why. It is well documented and it is documented by far more than the USA EPA.

The reason Alaska is gaining ground on Florida as far as temperature goes is because of anthropogenic climate crisis.

Here is what makes Alaska so interesting to that fact: As of 2014, the population of Alaska was 736,732 Americans and Native Americans. It has the longest coastline of any state. Alaska is 663,300 square miles of which are high quality wilderness. That means Alaska has a very healthy carbon load for the people per square mile. It not only has the help of vast wildness, Alaska has a neighbor in Canada that helps protect that wilderness and values winter and it's economy and it is within the Arctic Circle.

By every measure, Alaska should not be warming. At all. If anything with all the concrete jungles in the lower 48 there should be vast more warming than Alaska. But, Alaska is warming, it is losing ice mass everywhere and it is actually a canary in the coal mine.

Alaska because of it's long and abundant coastlines have ice fields that are "Temperate" icefields. What does that mean? Temperate icefields are those closest to the oceans. Oceans are warming. Oceans do not lose their heat quickly. Water is the moderator to climate. Temperate icefields and glaciers are the ones that actually melt at 32 degrees or 0 Celsius. Temperate icefields are effected by warm ocean air before high ice in Antarctica.

So, yes, Alaska is warmer than the lower 48, especially since the frigid temperatures of the Arctic OCEAN have grown smaller and smaller in diameter. This year scientists in Europe made their annual trip to the ice of the Arctic Circle and found it to be first year ice instead of at least half a decade old. The ice was not only young ice, it was fragile. The Arctic Ocean is coming closer and closer to being ice free and that is why the USA is receiving more and more severe winter storms. The Arctic Ocean was the place where the Arctic Vortex had stability. There is nothing maintaining it's presence anymore in one cold place.

Why is that important? Because the Arctic Vortex is part of that thermostat to maintain Earth biologically viable. With a chronic source of greenhouse gases, there is no limit to the warming and Earth obviously cannot compensate. The danger to every form of life on Earth is a homogenized climate that ends the thermostat and simply warms more and more without abatement.

You can say I am wrong, but, when it comes to climate I haven't been wrong yet!

This administration is actually trying to shut down the federal government.

The people in this administration are committed to one reality and that is the original constitution. Not Bill of Rights, either.

That is the standard every action by this administration should be measured by.

The EPA is the best example. Now, I will grant you "What's his name" is from Texas, but, his best buddy Inhofe (that is a German name, isn't it?) is from Oklahoma. Through "Citizens's United" the petroleum industry has purchased the federal government. The petroleum industry benefits the best from no government, so the ideology is intact in this symbiosis.

March 15, 2017
By Mark Brown

Felicia Chase, 39, (click here) is a geologist who has worked at the EPA for nine years, currently in water quality enforcement. It’s her job to ensure local communities take steps to prevent stormwater and sewage discharges from polluting local rivers and streams.
Frank Lagunas, 40, is a chemist who came to the EPA six years ago after six years with the Air Force as a crew chief on a Stealth fighter. Lagunas’ main responsibility is to certify the laboratories that test drinking water to make sure the public can trust the results.
Jon Peterson, 57, worked his way through college shoveling the toxic slag that was a byproduct of his hometown steel plant and has spent 32 years at the EPA working to clean up the mess factories like that one left behind.
Michael Mikulka, 62, is a civil engineer by training who has been with the EPA for 40 years in a variety of roles, overseeing construction of wastewater treatment plants and reclaiming hazardous waste sites across the Great Lakes region. Now, he’s the union rep.
Between them, they’ve worked on major projects in Decatur, Rockford, Gary, East Chicago, Hammond, Oshkosh and Green Bay, to name just a few....

The budget being worked on cuts the EPA funding by a full one third, laying off 3000 people. That is dangerous for the citizens of this country. It ONLY benefits the petroleum industry and polluters. That is not the economy the American people want.

Now if the budget continues to be cut year after year at that same rate, a full one third, by 2020 no matter who wins the presidency the agencies will be completely defunded. That is the goal, to completely defund the agencies this group of billionaires despises. 

The greed merchants currently in this administration are using self-righteous religious dogma to achieve their goals. They want to appear as saints to the sinners, but, they are nothing more  than greedy individuals. They have no particular talent that they bring to the people of this country, except, they are willing to do the devil's work. There is no methodology to the defunding, it is strictly; cut, cut, cut.

February 29, 2016
By Phillip Bump

..."[The Klan] is already weakening," (click here) the editors wrote. "But it shrinks and dissolves most rapidly where men and women are bold enough to fight it openly."

"What he is obviously consenting to do" through his silence, they continued, "is to accept as many votes as he possibly can get, without inquiring too curiously in to the motives or hopes of the men and women who cast them."...

There are two places where minorities receive equal treatment, the federal government, blue states and union shops. 

March 12, 2017
By Elliot Hannon

...Republican Congressman Steve King, (click here) who has a history of tip-toeing around white-nationalist rhetoric, fired off a tweet Sunday afternoon that reeked of white-supremacist ideology. The tweet referenced “culture and demographics” being fundamental to European and American “destiny” before closing with: “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” It is hard to read that any other way than it was written. It is an apparent, explicit call to protect white “culture and demographics” from immigrants. It’s the type of rhetoric that you might find at a Klan rally. Steve King is a congressman from Iowa....

Steve Scalise's (click here) name is not foreign to this blog. Racism is propagated for political gain and those that receive those votes want to keep them.

March 14, 2017
By Eugene Robinson

White supremacism (click here) was never banished from American political thought, just shoved to the fringe and hushed to a whisper. Now, in the Age of Trump, it’s back in the mainstream and ready to roar.

Witness the words of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on the subject of immigration: “Culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

King offered these sentiments Sunday in a tweet expressing solidarity with Geert Wilders, an openly racist and Islamophobic Dutch politician who has a chance of becoming prime minister in elections this week. Wilders is someone who “understands,” King wrote.

And we understand just what King meant. Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke certainly got the message, using his vile Twitter account to proclaim, “GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!”

Just so there’s no confusion, King went on CNN Monday to say that “I meant exactly what I said.” He added: “I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as 10 years ago to the German people and to any population of people that is a declining population that … isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves. I’ve said to them, ‘You cannot rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birth rate up and that you need to teach your children your values.'”
Why am I hearing faint strains of “Deutschland uber alles”? And why am I not hearing a loud chorus of condemnation from King’s Republican colleagues?...

If Americans aren't fighting racism at every turn, then they are losing their country to power that has been covert and very, very corrupt.